Melbourne

Friday 27th January.

What’s been happening this week: I have been chasing some more car maintenance. I went to visit the mechanic Barry referred me to and had a word with him about these special plug leads and plugs that he installed in Barry’s car. Barry did mention that since having them fitted the car seems to go a lot better, so seeing I am just about due for another set of plug leads I thought that I would give them a try. My existing plugs are reasonably new so I will give the new ones a try but keep the existing ones as spares. The cost of the new plug leads, specially designed for gas running cars, are no more expensive that ordinary leads so it will be no extra expense giving them a try anyway.

While at the mechanics I asked him what he knew about electric radiator fans. He actually showed a method of testing the fans by turning on the air conditioning with the fan on high, and this should start the radiator fans. We did this and he decided that the passenger side fan wasn’t working so he convinced me to buy and fit a new one. I ordered one the other day and picked it up this morning, it was only a motor though and needed other parts, blades etc. to be fitted to it. When I got home and had a look at the motor and what had to be done I noticed that they had supplied the wrong one, it was the drivers side, so I returned it to be replaced with the correct one. The only difference, apparently, is the different length of the wiring, and the positioning of the connectors in the plug, a new plug is supplied with the motor. I could have utilised that motor by hiding away the extra length of wiring, and placing the connectors on the right holes, but I don’t have a suitable tool for removing the connector pins, so it could be a bit of a fiddly job. Due to this it was decided to replace the motor for the correct one, then if necessary I can destroy the old plug to remove the wiring needed for the other motor, so I can place them in the new plug. This would be a lot easier than trying to remove all leads and moving them.

Fun and games with the car again. All along I have never been convinced that the fan motor was actually the faulty component so while having a few spare moments today I decided to do some tests myself and found the following: When the air conditioner is on and the fan is turned to 1 or 2 the suspect fan actually runs but only slowly. When the air fan is switched to 3 or 4 the other fan runs fast and the suspect one does not run. I have decided that it was this condition that convinced the mechanic that the suspect fan was actually faulty. I followed this up with some further electrical tests looking for voltages and found the following: When the air fan is turned to 1 or 2 the earth lead on the suspect fan shows a low voltage, hence the fan running slowly, and the other fan has a low voltage on the batt wire and in fact ran slowly as well. When the air fan is switched to 3 or 4 the suspect fan has a full earth but no batt, hence not running, and the other fan has full voltage on both leads, hence running fast.

I have now decided to go ahead with replacing the fan motor and see what happens then and if no different than what happens now I will have to seek further advice from someone who hopefully know all about what should happen. This will of coarse be after I see what happens when the car is running in actual hot conditions.

Like I already said, More car dramas.

Other things that have happened: It’s a pity I don’t have more money as I found the ideal Set Top Box and TV. The STB, at Targets, had a dual tuner so one could watch one and record the other at the same time. It also had a 140Meg hard drive and possible PC connectivity so it looked ideal for recording movies etc. It was also reasonably priced at $490.00, down from $790.00, so would have been a good buy.

We also visited Panasales, after seeing them advertised on telly, and found what would have been the ideal 43cm wide screen LCD TV at a reasonable $599.00 price, but as already stated I now have a lack of finances so I had to bypass both units and just stick with what we have.

We have also, naturally, been visiting Nelle Matt and Cookie, and not surprising Linda is astounded at the rate that he is putting on weight and growing, but then he is a very contented kid and does eat well. I am not going to mention much more on this topic because anybody will naturally expect everything I were to say, and would probably be, biased anyway.

Melbourne

Tuesday 17th January.

Another week has passed and nothing out of what we would expect to be ordinary has happened.

I have finally bought the analogue tuner and started to record movies from TV that we don’t watch so we will have some recordings for the future when we need them. I will have to upgrade the RAM in the laptop so I can see if that fixes the problems I’m having with the video editor I have. It would be nice to think I could edit out the ads, but at the moment I am not having a great deal of success. It is more than likely the file sizes I am working with are of too big a size.

Sunday 22nd January.

Another stinker of a day today with the temperatures soaring up to 44 Deg. We had a day that hot on new years eve, but this one was following a day that was 40 deg as well, and two in a row are a little hard to take. Poor Piper is the one that is most affected by it. The best thing one can do in those temperatures is to sit in the annexe, in the shade, with all windows open and not move much. One is in no mood to move much anyway.

Not much out of the ordinary happening, except I have been working on burning movies onto DVD’s. I have been recording movies from telly with the digital tuner and burning them, I have also practiced recording from a VCR tape with the analogue tuner and burning them. There are differences in these recordings as the analogue tuner records in more than one file, each being about 600mb, and the digital records in just the one file. I have found that the burning software has a reasonably good editing programme which is good for both formats. The main problem with this software is that it I very slow. I am going to upgrade the RAM with another 250m and see if that makes any difference.

Melbourne

Wednesday 11th January.

Again it’s been a week since putting words down. It’s not as if we haven’t had much happening since then, but we have been rather busy with Narrelle having had the baby and all.

Jaedon Miguel was born on 9th at 1:25 AM at the Mercy hospital Heidelberg. At a weight of 6lb 10oz and 49cm long he was in very good health, as was his mother.

Naturally our time has been spent visiting them, and creating emails letting everybody else know. Matthew, no1, came over on a day business trip yesterday so he got to visit them while still in hospital. He came out to visit us, and stay for tea, before heading home, so we also had a chance to have a good catch-up chat.

We have now had a good chance to test out the GPS unit and have decided that we don’t know how we have managed to survive so long so far without it. Linda is the most happy, as she is the one that will no longer have to “travel to strange places with a sweaty plastic map on her lap to show how to get there”. She is naturally the one who is already showing signs of relief for having it. The real test will be when we get to country towns and the outback, and see how effective it is there.

We are now seriously considering what we are going to do for the rest of the year, and which route we are going to take to get there, and have decided that we must make a decision before the end of this month. It is looking like we may have another year of sitting in one place, like the Sunshine Coast, and possibly get there via the coastal route again since it has been a while since going that route. This is of coarse after we go home for a month or so in March.

Melbourne

Wednesday 4th January 2006.

The new year is upon us and I have again been rather slack in not putting down any words. Not as if not much has been happening, just been too slack I guess.

One of the main things taking our time is the expectation of the birth of Narrelle’s baby, which as yet has failed to eventuate. It seems that “Cookie” is leaving it for as long as possible.

I have had to put a stop to my spending spree, as is normal when we spent so much time where everything is so available, as I have now spent too much. I did have the idea of buying a new TV, wide screen, a new battery for the car, deep cycle for camping, possibly another solar panel and a GPS unit. Now after the new transmission and buying a GPS unit everything else will have to be put on hold.

The TV would only be for glory, as we already have a system that works well, only it is not wide screen, but I do have the laptop if I really need wide screen.

The battery and solar panel have also been put on hold as it now seems that we won’t be doing much camping out this year because we, especially Linda, have decided that another year of sitting time and not much travel would go down well. So we have almost definitely put off long trips until at least next year.

After a little investigation, which was sadly very restrictive, on how and what GPS systems do, I did purchase a cheaper unit of the ones available. The expensive one could have been more suitable, or more user friendly with more features, but one would never know until he bought one and nearly $1,000 was just too much for something that will only make it a bit easier to find our way around without Linda having her face stuck in a map book. The unit we did purchase will seem to suffice with the little practice we have had, especially in larger towns or cities, but it may be a little restrictive in remote country areas because it is purely dependant on street listings to plot a course to ones destination. It does not have the facility to plot a course to places like rest areas, and such, or small towns that the units data storage doesn’t contain information about. We are sure that it will be very useful in many situations in the future.